President Isaias calls the 1997 Ratified Eritrean Constitution a ‘Dead Document’

President Isaias calls the 1997 Ratified Eritrean Constitution a ‘Dead Document’

Radio Erena: 02 December 2015


President Isaias Afwerki called the 1997 constitution that was widely debated by the Eritrean people and ratified by the National Assembly and only awaiting implementation, as a ‘dead document’ trashed before its proclamation.

The President told AFP this past week – a new constitution is being drafted to replace the 1997 document though he has not said who is drafting it.


Although the drafting of the replacing constitution was announced 24th of May 2014 by the president on his Independence Day address to the nation, little is known of how it would differ from the 15-year-old ratified constitution. Many critics say this is a desperate measure taken by the president to buy more time and an initiative to address the oppositions and pressure both internally and by the international community for human rights violations and extreme emigration.

Eritrean government officials and PFDJ [People’s Front for Democracy and Justice] cadres, especially, those in diplomatic corps had been telling many international media outlets that their government was working on implementing the ’97 constitution up until the president’s surprise 24th of May announcement.

Many Eritreans also call President Isaias’ statement in regards to members of the national service and their compensation as false promises, as always.

Although the president covered many local and international issues with otherwise futile analysis, he failed to make a mention the fate of those political prisoners including former government officials, journalists, religious leaders, and thousands of ordinary citizens who have been in jail for over 10 years.

Today’s Eritrea is found to be diplomatically disconnected from the world due to its dictatorial leadership, lack of national assembly and full of unconstitutional institutions.